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China releases jailed Tibetan monk, with a permanent limp

A map showing the location of Draggo county in Sichuan's Kardze prefecture. (Courtesy: RFA)
A map showing the location of Draggo county in Sichuan’s Kardze prefecture. (Courtesy: RFA)

(TibetanReview.net, Feb10, 2018) – China has released on Jan 24 a Tibetan monk in Sichuan Province after he had completed a six-year jail sentence for taking part in a protest, but he could come out only with a limp, which was reported to be permanent, as a result of prison beatings.

Geshe Tsewang Namgyal, formerly a monk at the Draggo Monastery in Karze (Chinese: Ganzi) Prefecture, was among a number of people who carried out a protest in Draggo County on Jan 23, 2012. Chinese police had fired into the protesting crowd, killing at least six Tibetans and seriously wounding many others.

The protesters were expressing anger against China’s pressure on the local Tibetans to celebrate the upcoming Tibetan New Year despite their decision to boycott it due to killings of fellow Tibetans in previous protests.

A few days after the violent crackdown, Chinese police arrested Geshe Namgyal, Tulku Lobsang Tenzin of Gochen monastery, a businessman named Thinley, and an accountant named Dralha from the provincial capital Chengdu for having taken part in the protest.

They were all tried and give jail sentence of five to seven years later on, although their families learnt of these only weeks later.

Altogether, 36 Tibetans were jailed for their roles in the protest.

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